Over the course of their modestly sized (but by no means meek) output thus far, Diet Cig have proven themselves as adept airers of bullshit; calling out wrongdoers and trash talkers with venomous precision. In ‘Dinner Date’ it’s a disappointing romantic prospect who gets roasted just like the turkey he’s eating on a yawn-inducing date. Elsewhere, Alex Luciano takes aim at everything from music scene posers, to Ivy League bores and unfurnished apartments.
With this in mind, ‘Tummy Ache’ is a little different. The chords propel forward, but they’re grungier, and more down in the dumps this time. Alex’s latest subject of disdain is a little less clear-cut, too, and her anger is vaguer, more anxious. “I’m trying to find my voice, surrounded by all boys,” she sings, before giving way to Noah Bowman’s rumbling drums, and thrashing squeals of guitar feedback. “My stomach hurts,” she admits elsewhere, atop tenacious chants that egg her on, “it’s hard to be a punk rocker in a skirt”. Ultimately, though, ‘Tummy Ache’ battles through the boundaries, finds a voice, and prevails while shouting from the rooftops.
According to the high-jumping Alex herself, ‘Tummy Ache’ grapples with being a femme presence in the notoriously masculine world of rock, and beyond that, it pursues a kind of “radical softness” that can hit harder than any studded leather jacket, or snarled chorus can. And, considering the political shit-show whirling outside our windows right now, couldn’t we all do with a bit of radical softness?
Diet Cig’s debut album ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ is out on 7th April, via Frenchkiss.